Microbe and face emojis with surgical masks are the most used icons on the Internet in publications related to the coronavirus pandemic. Who reveals the information is Emojipedia, online encyclopedia of emojis, which conducted a study analyzing thousands of tweets between the 7th and 8th of March this year. Different research methods were used to identify the presence of figures in publications that contained terms related to the disease.
The study looked at approximately 50,000 unique tweets that contained at least one of the twelve health-related emojis selected for the survey. The icons were chosen because they are associated with fever, illness, disease or medical issues. They were:
😷 Face with medical mask
🤢 Nausea face
🤮 Vomiting face
🤧 Splashing face
🤒 Face with thermometer
🤕 Face with head bandage
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In the final result, the most used emoji was the microbe, followed by the face with a medical mask. Then sneeze appears, the face with nausea, the soap and the face vomiting. However, of the total number of messages surveyed, only 2,454 tweets contained the words “coronavirus” or “Covid-19”, demonstrating that most of the publications talked about different subjects.
To determine which emojis were directly linked to messages about the pandemic, a second survey was carried out, also on March 7 and 8. This time, the company analyzed more than 200 thousand tweets from different languages that contained the terms “coronavirus” or “Covid-19”.
The result showed that the most used emojis are the faces smiling and rolling around laughing. According to Emojipedia, the presence of these figures is considered common, as they are the most used on Twitter under any circumstances. Eliminating these icons, the face with the medical mask and the microbe face also appear at the top of the ranking.
The company identified that the subjects most addressed in the messages that contained the medical mask and microbe emojis are “coronavirus”, “sick”, “corona”, “Covid-19”, “cases”, “death”, “virus”, among so many others.
The survey also identified the flag emojis most used in the period. In this scenario, the symbol of Italy was the most used, coinciding with the news of the strong increase in the number of cases of the disease in that country. Next, the flags of China, United States, France and Spain appear, also very affected by the coronavirus.